James Frey (A Million Little Pieces) and Greg Mortenson (Three Cups of Tea)? Move over. There’s a new memoirist in town who’s been caught lying.
In my first memoir, Hit by a Farm, I wrote about a doll I had as a child. The Jane West doll had bendable arms and legs, ugly tan plastic clothing, and a horse. I sold her years ago, and regretted it because she’s now sort of an antique.
Last fall our friend Karen pulled a Jane West doll out of a box of junk her father gave her. Karen generously gave the doll to me. But in our discussion, someone raised the question—was there more than one doll of this sort?
I jumped online and found the truth. Jane West looks like this:
She’s tall and blonde.
My Jane West, however, looks like this:
Oops. This isn’t Jane West. She’s Jane (and Johnny) West’s daughter, Janice West.
Call the New York Times! I’ve lied! Punish me by putting my memoir on the bestseller list! Frey and Mortenson have survived the punishment (and have become incredibly wealthy,) so if that’s the fate I must suffer for lying, so be it.